Brandon Kintzler was a frequent Cubs reliever target in rumors leading up to the Winter Meetings, but that buzz seemed to die down, and now he’s off the market in any case.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 14, 2017
Kintzler deal is for two years with $10 million guaranteed. Options for both player and club in this deal, not a straight 2yrs at 10M, according to people familiar with it.
— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) December 14, 2017
Kintzler is an extreme strike-thrower, and an extreme ball-in-play guy, so he wasn’t the sexiest target. But he definitely fell into that “yeah, sure, he’d be a fine addition to the bullpen crowd, and at that price tag, the Nationals seem to have gotten an extremely reasonable deal.
I would have been more than fine if the Cubs had made that same deal, though probably not much higher … and if the teams were in the same ballpark, Kintzler may have simply preferred to stick with the team he knows.
So, it’s another relief option off the board for the Cubs, who seem increasingly likely to be holding out for a Wade Davis return, if they can get him on the right deal. Even in a saturated market, and even attached to draft pick compensation, it’s hard to see Davis getting anything less than four years, and anything less than $10 million annually. For me, that’s right about my breaking point where I can see good value and a wise risk for the Cubs.
Something that is probably hurting Davis’s market, beyond the volume of quality relievers who were available this offseason, is the fact that most of the biggest-spending contenders already have closers in place. Dodgers? Check. Yankees? Check. Red Sox? Check. Giants? Check. Nationals? Check. There are certainly other teams out there who would be in the market for a closer, but probably not enough to really put a ton of pressure on the Cubs.
So, then, maybe the Cubs are going to be extra patient on Davis (and, alternatively, Greg Holland and Addison Reed) to see if they can get a bargain.